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MARTIN SAMUEL – Yes, players have huge wages – but they are paid by private companies

In Saturday’s Daily Mail, lead writer Martin Samuel wrote about how the coronavirus would change football’s financial future – and sparked many online responses.

Here he responds to your comments.

Barcelona has moved quickly to temporarily cut the wages of players, including Lionel Messi

Barcelona has moved quickly to temporarily cut the wages of players, including Lionel Messi

Does anyone really think that the self-service clubs at the top of football will change; or the Premier League and Sky?

Look at their horrible, selfish behavior when trying to finish the season, mainly because of money and hoping to finally get Liverpool a title, which is a great story for the brand. Ex-players, experts and media cheerleaders are also to blame.

The whole country is as good as closed, 1.8 million people have been told they can’t go outside for three months, the death rate is increasing daily, and there is the possibility of a second wave of Coronavirus, but it’s still ending prioritize a football season for these greedy, irresponsible fools. Football does not even register in priority lists.

Moses42, Stoke-on-Trent.

Well, if it’s your business, Moses. I don’t blame football for trying to find a way forward from here, any more than I would blame the shoe store owner for thinking about how to restart in the future.

I’m not in favor of dates and deadlines, and certainly not taking health risks, but I can fully understand why clubs are having discussions. The difference is that their meetings take place in public, while the thousands of other companies talk privately.

I don't blame football for trying to find a way forward - the difference is that meetings are public

I don't blame football for trying to find a way forward - the difference is that meetings are public

I don’t blame football for trying to find a way forward – the difference is that meetings are public

If we accept the premise that football is going bankrupt, it means that the Manchester City owner with his unimaginable wealth is given free rein in football and can put as much money into his club as he wants.

You have supported wealthy owners. Do you still support the premise that one should be able to put huge amounts of money into his club while others cannot?

Wonnowtsince 1995, Liverpool.

You discussed FFP from the start. Then you casually reject it with the rule “… because a global pandemic was never the motivation.”

It was not the motivation, of course, but it doesn’t mean that the whole reason for FFP’s existence was wrong and you can expect the emergence of what FFP was the standard model from now on.

IWWT, London.

You easily missed the second part of my sentence on FFP, IWWT.

It said, “… and his supporters and opponents are struggling as well …”

In other words, rigorous compliance with FFP has not saved anyone from the impending financial crisis.

Members of the European elite, such as Barcelona and Juventus, were among the first to cut wages because their finances were jeopardized, while Manchester City paid staff in full, donated facilities to the NHS and guaranteed payments to casual workers.

This will actually relax FFP, as significant owner investment is all that some clubs will get through – and any Champions League participant will violate FFP and will be deported by UEFA in the current financial climate.

Manchester City pays staff in full, donates facilities to the NHS and guarantees payments to casual workers

Manchester City pays staff in full, donates facilities to the NHS and guarantees payments to casual workers

Manchester City pays staff in full, donates facilities to the NHS and guarantees payments to casual workers

I think the first post is the more reasonable statement, as it is clear that clubs backed by sovereign wealth funds like Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain will soon have a huge advantage.

Let’s see how it shakes up before it advocates draconian regulation. City can only place 11 on the field. Great players will not go there to be in the reserves. And rival clubs can always say no to offers, even in difficult times.

My objection to FFP was that it was designed to keep out everything but the elite. I am not against genuine regulation, unlike a cartel distribution. For example, I am totally in favor of a larger wealth distribution. We will see.

Strongly disagree. It is flu and not World War II. Return to normal within four months, just like China.

Just Sayin, New York.

Thank you, Mr President. This was probably before you considered quarantining the entire state.

Checked out the old football highlights on BBC’s red button last week – which was great sports football in the 1970s and 1980s. The games, the players, the crowds, the atmosphere. That’s what made it, not the overpaid snail, thinking they’re stars.

AJ FAE EMBRA, Edinburgh.

If the absolute worst thing about 2020 is that players earn well, I take that over from nostalgia

If the absolute worst thing about 2020 is that players earn well, I take that over from nostalgia

If the absolute worst thing about 2020 is that players earn well, I take that over from nostalgia

Ah, this old chestnut. You forget that those decades also included Heysel, Hillsborough and the Bradford fire disaster.

Empty nostalgia will always be part of the football industry, and we all enjoy it from time to time, but if the absolute worst thing of 2020 is that players make good money, I’ll trade.

The fans who complain about overpaying players are the same ones who want their team to overpay in the future when they are in a title race or relegation battle.

Kanye007, United Kingdom.

Absolutely, Kanye. There are many people who speak as if they have long been in favor of thrift and were rather furious that the board had not spent more money.

Think of all the clubs criticized this season for lack of investment: Newcastle, West Ham, Arsenal, Tottenham, Manchester United, Norwich, Manchester City, Crystal Palace, virtually all of them beat the 25 points at the top.

Yes, cancel this season and the next five. Then start again with football that takes its rightful place in society.

This crisis has clearly demonstrated the value of a physician, nurse, paramedic, counselor, shop assistant and delivery person compared to that of a footballer or football administrator. Financial rewards should reflect the above.

VFM, London.

The first four you list are public sector jobs, which would reward you at the same level as the highest paid private sector commissions, yes?

So when we enter the realm of the £ 100,000 a week NHS doctor and £ 50,000 a week nurse, what do you think will happen to your country’s finances and your tax?

Likewise, food and essential costs with the delivery person at £ 20,000 a week. So much of this nonsense is spoken in times of crisis, but the reality is that footballers’ revenues are paid by private companies and should reflect that company’s earnings and sales.

Footballers' income is paid by private companies and should reflect that company's earnings and sales

Footballers' income is paid by private companies and should reflect that company's earnings and sales

Footballers’ income is paid by private companies and should reflect that company’s earnings and sales

And work in the public sector, especially in emergency services, must find the difficult balance between rewarding and attractive, but still professionally oriented. Pay police officers £ 50,000 a week and all you would get are greedy thugs, who like to hit people with batons and live a high life.

Nursing should be a job you want to do because you are a good person and take care of others. That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be paid well, certainly not better. But the state cannot turn it into an activity that is done solely for the money.

Just let this sink in: Jesse Lingard gets paid more than an NHS doctor or nurse. This crisis really showed football fans and the world who the real heroes are.

Stretender, Manchester.

Lingard will have more than one nurse in a week, and probably some doctors in a week. And if we needed coronavirus to show us who the heroes are, we’ve lost our way as a society.

In 2015, when there was a public debate over whether Ched Evans was allowed to return to football after being released from prison, a common view in forums and phone calls was that he shouldn’t – but that he could get a job as a sweeper or a vacuum cleaner.

As if the people who keep the streets clean – an absolutely essential job, without which civilized society falls apart in a few weeks – are somehow worthy of our contempt, but playing for Hartlepool or Oldham is a noble occupation. Forget about the money. Our whole view of value in society needs to be reassessed.

Jesse Lingard makes more than doctors or nurses, but we don't need this crisis to show us who the heroes are

Jesse Lingard makes more than doctors or nurses, but we don't need this crisis to show us who the heroes are

Jesse Lingard makes more than doctors or nurses, but we don’t need this crisis to show us who the heroes are

Top flying football is the only industry I don’t feel sorry for. It is self-served, corrupt and full of greed for far too long.

There had to be something seismic to stop it. The only tragedy is that it required a global pandemic. It is unfortunate that a more isolated financial disaster that focused only on football could not have happened, as Sky goes bankrupt.

Carlos, Southend.

I remember going to top teams with my pocket money; I remember people like Jimmy Greaves and Bobby Moore who lived in beautiful but not over the top houses; Frank Lampard Snr lived on the same street as my sister; I remember that the terraces were full of the normal workers, the worker, the factory worker, the shop assistant.

AnaMaria2, United Kingdom.

The industry generates a substantial amount. It has to go somewhere. I would love to earn a footballer’s weekly income all year round, but at least the players get the money these days, when it used to go to greedy owners.

Calcio e Pepe, United States.

So, for example, what has Trent Alexander-Arnold done wrong, Carlos, to wish you so much harm? All his young life, well before the actual working age, he worked hard to realize a dream.

Millions of young men have the same dream, but are not talented or diligent enough to get there; but he was. And then you want it all taken from him – and why? Because he’s a working-class boy who makes money?

I find it alarming, this bitterness towards other members of the community, with an undeniable skill. And no, it is not to save lives, but how many skills are there?

Trent Alexander-Arnold has worked hard all his young life and deserves to be successful

Trent Alexander-Arnold has worked hard all his young life and deserves to be successful

Trent Alexander-Arnold has worked hard all his young life and deserves to be successful

Football, like many branches of entertainment, adds to the cheerfulness of nations. If the country was stuck as football went on and was shown on television, it would be the highlight of the day for many.

So it has a value, like the value of the actors in all the box sets that are viewed; and as an industry it generates an enormous amount of money, which is then used to pay the protagonists.

AnaMaria’s 1960s stories are all very romantic, but as Calcio e Pepe – and if you know your Italian kitchen, you know what a great pun that is – points out, the men who owned the clubs Greaves and Moore played for bank the money instead.

Around that time, one of the directors of West Ham bragged that he never had to put his hand in his pocket to run the club. There is money to be made with football. So who do you want to get it? The board or the players? Because it goes somewhere.

Cheered at me, Martin. Thanks.

Thetruth2019, Manchester.

Yes sorry. Little bleak, I know. When I did my weekly Debate column online, I ended it with music.

My advice? Go to YouTube, type in ‘Mori-Ra: Acid Indonesia Dari Psychedelia’ and go from there. It will be just like old times.

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